Pastoral Care Policy

Background

This document is based on Every School a Good School (DE 2009) and sets out our school’s policy and practice in relation to the care of pupils and the promotion of an environment where pupils and staff feel valued, cherished and respected.

Rationale

We define Pastoral Care as the created ethos through which our pupils develop and learn to their optimum potential. We provide the opportunity for every pupil to develop into responsible, self-aware, confident and capable young people equipped to cope with the challenges of the 21st century.

Our school accepts that Pastoral Care must form the basis of, and permeate, all aspects of the curriculum.

Visions and Values

Our school subscribes to the view that every pupil has the right to feel safe and secure on all levels. We will actively promote a Pastoral Care ethos which allows for the development of the whole person, which celebrates difference, and which leads to every pupil making good choices which will form the basis for a healthy and positive lifestyle.

Pastoral Care will be the setting where our young people will acquire values and standards on the basis of observing these at work at every level.

It is also important to remember that schools are centres of education and we therefore accept the validity of a personal development approach rather than a delivery which is service driven.

Ethos

Ethos is an intangible concept with a tangible effect. It is our intention to establish an ethos which may be detected in the feelings of security, warmth and nurture at every level within our school.

This may be achieved through:

  • Creating a sense of belonging to our school community
  • Developing an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring
  • Celebrating and embracing difference
  • Implementation of a Positive Behaviour Policy which creates a full sense of justice and fair play amongst our school community
  • Providing opportunities for every person to succeed and to be affirmed in their self-worth,
  • promoting positive relationships at every level
  • working with parents for the mutual benefit of all
  • establishing and maintaining links with the wider community
  • affirming and actively promoting staff to develop positive attitudes towards themselves and to the pupils in our care
  • creating a sense of self-worth at every level
  • assemblies which deal with a range of pastoral issues
  • appropriate adult supervision of play areas at break and lunch time, with particular attention to prevent bullying
  • supervision of pupils in the morning and at home time to ensure safe departure from the school premises
  • integrating special needs children with other children

Our school creates opportunities where mutual respect can grow and develop. We aim to create a caring, empathetic and secure environment where our young people can develop good relationships based on those they experience.

Curriculum provision for Pastoral Care

In planning curricular provision for pastoral care the staff will use the following range of teaching materials:

PDMU – Personal Development and Mutual Understanding:

This area of the N.I. Curriculum is designed to develop children’s personal, emotional, social and health needs. They are encouraged to lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives and to become confident, independent and responsible citizens, making informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives.

Assembly:

At various times this will cover aspects such as bullying, friendships, strangers, and taking care of oneself and also engage with outside agencies such as NSPCC .

Circle Time:

Circle Time is a structured, regular occasion when a class group meets in a circle and takes part in games and activities designed to increase self-awareness, awareness of others, self-esteem, co-operation, trust and listening skills. It helps everyone to understand their feelings and what is important to them and it aims to encourage greater tolerance of each other’s opinions. The ethos of Circle Time is positive, encouraging and non-judgmental.

School Council:

This is an important element of our school life is it gives our students a voice in decisions that are made about their school.

IEF/NICIE:

Work with outside agencies such as NICIE and IEF to promote our integrated ethos which is a vital and fundamental element of our pastoral care.

Training and Support

In order to support all staff, our school recognises the importance of training as a priority area in the establishment of a caring and pastoral environment.

Record keeping and administration

An information form is kept for all pupils containing contact phone numbers, in order of priority.  Medical forms have also been filled in by parents.

Each class teacher records incidents;  the details of all contacts made by parents with the school in relation to pastoral matters, together with action taken by the school in response to concerns.

Communication with parents

Parents receive copies of all Pastoral policies after a full review and subsequent ratification of policies by the Board of Governors. Safeguarding information is sent home annually at the start of each academic year.

Related School Policies

This policy is set within the broader school context of Pastoral Care and as such should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:

Evaluation and Monitoring:

This school recognises and accepts the importance of monitoring and evaluating all aspects of Pastoral Care at every level. All groups involved in the school: pupils, parents, staff and governors will be asked to share their views.  This may be done in focus groups, class workshops, through the use of questionnaires or informal interviews. Circulars from DENI, EA and NICIE will also be taken account of.

September 2016